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|Title: ||Breeding of Hygienic Disease Resistant Bees|
|Authors: ||Lapidge, Keryn Lea|
|Keywords: ||hygienic behaviour;honeybee;Apis mellifera|
|Issue Date: ||2001|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney. Biological Sciences|
|Abstract: ||Hygienic behaviour in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) has been shown to be an effective control mechanism against brood diseases such as chalkbrood and AFB. Chalkbrood has proven to be problematic for the Australian honey industry since it was identified here in 1993. Hygienic behaviour is a much studied trait. Rothenbuhler investigated the genetic basis of hygienic behaviour, proposing a two-gene model to explain the uncapping and removal of dead brood. His elegant experiment remains the textbook example of a behavioural genetic study. Although this model has been challenged, it is still generally agreed that a small number of unlinked genes produce a large effect on hygienic behaviour, that hygienic alleles are recessive and are inherited in a Mendelian manner. Experimental backcross colonies were produced from an inbred hygienic line and an inbred non-hygienic line, both provided by Dr. Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota. These backcross colonies were assessed for hygienic behaviour using a standard assay. Statistical analyses of the field data indicated that the genetic basis of the trait was more complex than either the simple Mendelian and widely accepted two-gene or three-gene models that have been proposed previously. Molecular techniques, linkage mapping and QTL analysis then were employed to determine how many loci directly influence hygienic behaviour and the relative level of influence and location of each locus within the genome of A. mellifera. Full multipoint linkage analysis by Mapmaker v3.0 software produced a new genetic map of the honeybee comprised of 358 marker loci ordered over 25 linkage groups spanning a total distance of 3406.2 cM. The average distance between each marker was 9.5 cM. QTL analysis of the experimental data identified seven putative genetic markers associated with hygienic behaviour. QTLs located on linkage groups 2, 4, 6 and 22 were detected for both overall hygienic behaviour and uncapping behaviour only. Individually, each QTL is of relatively small effect with each explaining only 9% – 15% of the variance in hygienic levels observed. Collectively, the putative QTLs identified here explain 79.4% of the observed variance in the expression of hygienic behaviour. These results indicate that there are many genes of low to moderate effect rather than few genes of large effect involved in this complex behavioural trait. This is typical of inherited quantitative traits which do not exhibit Mendelian phenotypic ratios. DNA extracted from the brood samples taken during testing of commercial stock, and from individual bees identified as either highly hygienic or non-hygienic in a reciprocal backcross experiment, were screened with the candidate markers associated with putative QTLs to test their diagnostic power. Unfortunately, none have produced reliably diagnostic DNA profiles. As we have now shown that hygienic behaviour is a polygenic, quantitative trait, simple diagnostic markers for Rothenbuhler's 'uncapping' and 'removal' genes are unlikely to be achieved. Our results show that the most likely way to improve disease resistance in Australian stock is via traditional methods of recurrent selection. The project was responsible for the importation of new genetic material into Australia from the United States. This hygienic stock has been well received by industry, has been widely disseminated, and incorporated into local breeding programs. We hope that it has lead to a general improvement in the level of disease resistance in Australian commercial bees.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright Lapidge, Keryn Lea;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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